This interesting mediveal surname, with forms such as Peppar, Peever, Peevor and Peffer, is said to be English and French, and occupational. The development is from the words peyvrier and pevrier meaning "pepperer," a pepper and spice merchant. If this is so early examples of recordings include Roger Peivre and Alice Peper in the Fines Court rolls of Essex in 1198 and 1241 respectively, whilst John Pepper alias Peyvre, was recorded in the Calendar of Early Mayor's Court Rolls, for Cambridgeshire.It would seem that for several centuries the spellings alternated between the English and the French forms of the surname. However there is another possibility for at least some name holders such as Peever, that this name is locational from any of the five villages called Peover in the county of Cheshire. Amongst the early recordings is that on August 15th 1635, of Francis Pepper, aged 16 yrs, who embarked from London on the ship "Globe" bound for Virginia. He was one of the earliest recorded namebearers to settle in the New World. A coat of arms associated with the surname depicts three gold demi lions rampant and three black sickles placed alternately on the silver chevron of a red shield. The Motto "Semper Erectus" translates as "Always Exalted". The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Robert Peper. This was dated 1197, in the Pipe Rolls of Norfolk, during the reign of King Richard 1st, known as "The Lionheart", 1189 - 1199. Surnames became necessary when governments introduced personal taxation. In England this was sometimes known as Poll Tax. Throughout the centuries, surnames in every country have continued to "develop" often leading to astonishing variants of the original spelling.
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